Grape-Nuts Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini ‘Noodles’ and Pesto

Spaghetti and meatballs are delicious — make your meatballs with a different type of noodle when you make dinner....
Turkey Meatballs


Spaghetti and meatballs are delicious — make your meatballs with a different type of noodle when you make dinner. Use zucchini to make noodles and have that with turkey meatballs and pesto.


For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 Cup Post Grape-Nuts cereal
  • 1/3 Cup one percent milk
  • 1 Pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 Cup Italian parsley, chopped fresh
  • 1/4 Cup shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto sauce:

  • 1 Cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the pasta:

  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 Cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
  • Sprigs of fresh basil, for garnish


For the meatballs:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, soak Grape-Nuts cereal in milk until all the milk is absorbed and the cereal is moist. Set aside.

Once cereal is moistened, combine turkey, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, shallot, tomato paste, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, and moistened cereal in a large bowl. Using fingers, gently mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Using a small ice cream scoop or meat baller, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on baking sheet covered in non-stick foil. Bake 15 minutes or until cooked through.

For the pesto sauce:

While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the pesto sauce. In a food processor, place basil leaves, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pine nuts, and garlic. Pulse several times to combine. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the pasta:

Using a spiralizer, cut each zucchini into “noodles.” In a large saucepan, gently warm the pesto sauce, zucchini noodles, and tomatoes.

When ready to serve, divide the noodles into serving bowls. Top with turkey meatballs. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.

Grape Shopping Tip

Buying fruits in season when they are at the peak of their freshness make for great tasting food and can save you money.

Grape Cooking Tip

Don’t throw out your overripe fruit – instead blend into a smoothie or salad dressing, add to muffin batter, bake into a cobbler, or boil down with sugar and a little lemon juice to make jam.